Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

The Lordís Prayer

John 17


         This is one of the most precious passages in all of the Bible. Here we get a glimpse of an important aspect of Christís ministry- Christ as our High Priest.

         Some call this chapter the Holy of Holies of Scripture. We see a very intimate moment between God the Son and God the Father.

         Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, in the same form/essence as God, took time to pray to the Father! We see the interesting dynamics of the Trinity, but also the importance of prayer. If Jesus took time to pray, how about us?

         I referred to this as the Lordís Prayer, but some may ask, ďWhat about ĎOur FatherÖ?íĒ (Matthew 6, Luke 11). That was the Lordís Model Prayer. He could never have prayed that because he says, ďforgive us our sinsÖĒ So, this is the real Lordís Prayer!

         This is what is popularly known as our Lordís High Priestly Prayer

o   We have been studying Christ as our High Priest in the Book of Hebrews on Wednesday nights. What a glorious doctrine!

o   A priest is a bridge-builder between God and man- and that is what Christ does

o   We have no need for any other priest- I Tim 2:5

o   See Hebrews 4:14-16

         The Bible is filled with many great prayers, but this prayer is by far the greatest recorded in the Bible.

         One of the great things about this prayer, is that I am in it. And so are you! V. 20

o   Jesus first prays for himself

o   Then, for the Apostles

o   And finally, he intercedes for all believers

         This is powerful! We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous!

         We often speak of the love of Christ because died for our sins, but there is something far greater, and much more significant than his death! It is His resurrected life! Romans 5:8ff tells us, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

         We know that Christ is alive, but what has Christ been doing for the last 2000 years since his resurrection? Hebrews 7:25- Jesus is alive! And He ever liveth to make intercession for us!

         He cried it is finished while on the cross, because his atoning work was completed to deliver us from the penalty of sin- Hell. But, in Heaven he continues to work as our intercessor delivering us from the power of sin here on earth!

         The timeframe: before the cross, before the garden of gethsemane Christ had been teaching on the arrival of the Comforter- the Holy Spirit. Now he prays, and he does so audibly that the disciples may hear, and that it may be divinely recorded for us today.

         Itís not a very long prayer- but it is a very powerful and effective prayer. The sentences are simple, but the ideas are deep, and meaningful.

         I would like to draw out three important petitions made in this prayer


I.                    Keep them- v. 2-3; 11-12, 14-15

a.      Our text is all about keeping. Several times we see some form of the word ďkeep.Ē We are in desperate need of this keeping. We have been redeemed and regenerated, justified, reconciled- but we must be kept!

b.      Assurance of salvation- How do I know that I am saved? Or still saved?

                                                              i.      V. 2-3- Eternal life- V. 3- Genuine salvation can only come from a genuine knowledge (intellectual, experiential) (appropriation)

                                                            ii.      What facts are you trusting in for your salvation (works or grace?)

c.       Given- we must not go beyond the scripture with doctrines that deny manís free will. When man responds to the Gospel in faith we are to understand that God places us in Christ and Christ places us in the Father

                                                              i.      Philippians 1:6- he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

                                                            ii.      We are sealed up in the Trinity- illustr- 3 envelopes

                                                          iii.      We cannot secure our own salvation, we simply respond by faith to Godís offer of it! Have you responded yet?

d.      V. 11- God keeps genuine believers! V. 12- the one sour note- Judas. He is not an example of someone who Christ lost- he is an example of one who never truly came to Christ to begin with! This is a caution because outwardly- he looked like a true disciple!

e.      We know that we are kept saved because Godís word says so, because the Holy Spirit is our guarantee (down payment), - but also because of Christís intercession! Thus it is a successful keeping!

f.        We persevere because we are preserved by our High Priestís intercession.

II.                  Sanctify them- v. 14-20

a.      Sanctified- to be set apart for Godís use

                                                              i.      The reality: In order for God to use us, we must remain in the world.

                                                            ii.      But, the world should not remain in us- illustr a ship is in the ocean, but itís the other way around thereís a problem!

                                                          iii.      We are to be a light, a witness, examples and trophies of Godís grace

b.      Kept from evil- literally the evil one

                                                              i.      The evil one is in charge of the world system

                                                            ii.      Jesus didnít pray that we would be taken out of the battle, but that we would be strengthened and protected in it.

                                                          iii.      Jesus encouraged Peter- Luke 22:31-32

                                                           iv.      The greatest illustration of the efficacy of Jesusí prayer is Peter. Like Judas, Peter had a great fall. Unlike Judas, Peter was restored and persevered in faith. Both of them denied Jesus, but only Peter repented. Why? Luke 22:31Ė32 gives the answer. Satan desired to capture Peter, but Jesus prayed for him, and that ensured that he would repent.

c.       Jesus could not intercede for Judas in this way- He doesnít pray for the world- v. 9

d.      He prays for our sanctification. This implies holiness, being set apart from the corruption of the world (I John 1:9)

e.      The stage- Phil. 2:15- That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

f.        We live in a world that is sick and diseased; Christ prays that his saints may not be infected with the contagious evil of the times.

g.      V. 17- The means, or the vehicle of this sanctification is the Word of Truth- the Word of God! (Ps. 119:8). The Bible renews our minds, and refreshes our spirit so that we may serve effectively

h.      For many of us it is not an issue of is the word of God true, but rather is the word of God enough? Clearly, it is enough for Christ! So letís read it and master it!

i.        V. 18- He sets us apart from the world, so that we might reach the world! We have been sent out- we are all to be missionaries! The purpose of this sanctification is evangelism! Are you fulfilling this aspect of Christís prayer for your life?

III.                Bring them/Glorify them- v. 24

a.      Jesus prays to be with His people, and for them to see His glory.

b.      The words ďI willĒ mean He desires. This mean that Jesus has a distinct longing for his people to be with Him- illustr- far away loved ones- How much more for Christ?

c.       This means anytime a believer dies it is actually an answer to Jesusí prayer here. (disease, traumatic accidents, premature, untimely death, etc.) May that be an added comfort to us in times of sorrow. We often wish to have our loved ones around just a little while longer, but Christ is not content until the saints are in his arms

d.      Every part of this prayer relates to spiritual blessings- not physical**

e.      He wants all genuine believers to witness His glory ó and that means that they must be where He is. Illustr- invite to a restaurant, church, etc.

f.        How majestic must this glory be, that it will capture our attention for all of eternity!

g.      Christ longs for us to see this glory face to face (illustr- Moses)

h.      This is the goal- the Glory of God (v. 1-5)

i.        The final stage for believers is glorification- we will be like him!

j.        I John 3:2-3- Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.


         If we take great comfort in the intercessory prayer of a friend or of a pastor, how much more comfort can we experience from the full assurance that Jesus is praying for us? We know that Jesusí prayers never fail.

         Perhaps you forgot to pray this morning- Jesus didnít! No wonder nothing can separate us from the love of God!

         So whatís the point? Go forth in service, and perseverance, and all that God has for you knowing Christ is in your corner praying for you!

         You have seen a beautiful garden planted and filled with rarest flowers, and all in such beautiful order. The explanation is to be found in the keeper, who moves among the flowers, pulling up a stray weed here, clipping off a branch there, training up a fallen vine, tying up a drooping plant, digging about the roots of that rosebush that seems a little weak, and bestowing a little extra care upon it with such tenderness as though he loved it. And from admiring the flowers, you turn to admire and love the faithful keeper, and ascribe the praise to him. Thatís what Jesus does as our High Priest! Let the Gardner do His work!